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Why I Shop Vintage and Pre-Owned Luxury

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pharmacist. wife. mother.
mixmaster of new & vintage + luxe & low.
FASHION is her drug of choice.
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style of sam in vintage chanel silver maxi flap bag white booties 3x1 shelter crop jeans

It’s been WAY too long since the announcement of my first “The WHY Series” and I apologize. Let’s get right to it! I’ll be doing these once a month if not more!

Chanel? OBSESSED! Hermes? TO DIE FOR! Prada? PITTER PATTER OF MY HEART! Dior? SO DIVINE!! I admit. I LOOOVVVEEE designer bags, but I’m not fond of the designer prices.

I’d like to say that I started buying vintage and pre-owned bags, shoes, and clothing because it’s cool. I mean, NOW it’s cool… But I started buying vintage and pre-owned WAY BACK WHEN because it wasn’t as cool, and I could afford it because these pieces were being sold for way less than newer counterparts.

ONE // IT’S LESS EXPENSIVE

It started when I was a little one in elementary school and FAKE designer bags were HUGE then. I remember seeing them everything and thinking I WILL OWN A REAL CHANEL BAG ONE DAY! Keep in mind, I had NEVER had ANYTHING name brand unless it was a hand-me-down.

My mom was a seamstress, and sometimes her customers would give her their children’s’ clothes to us. I remember her pulling out a pair of Guess jeans from that humongous bag of clothes. I.WAS.ECSTATIC! Nevermind that it was too small and I could barely breathe when it was buttoned and zipped. I finally had a pair of Guess jeans! In high school, I was not cool, wore hand-me-downs but tried to be “resourceful” putting outfits together, and I definitely NEVER had anything designer or name brand.

That “resourcefulness” helped me tremendously as an adult. After graduating pharmacy school, I knew how to shop at consignment stores, Ross, Marshalls and TJ Maxx to find quality pieces at affordable prices. I still had that Chanel bag in my head, and I was determined to own one even though the prices are ludicrous (and still are today)! My first vintage Chanel bag was a camera bag purchased off Ebay in 2011 for around $500 which is still a large sum of money.

Anyhow, the reason I tell you these stories is that you see the me NOW with all these designer and luxury pieces, but you didn’t know the me THEN. Some people make assumptions when you wear certain things, but I’ve worked since I was 16, all through college, and in pharmacy school, and still now.

TWO // IT’S BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

I shopped vintage and pre-owned because that’s what my budget allowed, not because it was cool or trending at the time. In fact, some of my friends thought it was gross that I bought things that were already used. So I’m happy that sustainable shopping is now a thing, and wearing pre-loved pieces is cool! LOL!

Did you know that fashion is the 3rd most polluting industry in the world? Shopping pre-owned pieces is a great way to get a designer piece at a lower cost and be sustainable at the same time. It’s a win-win.

That’s another plus of shopping vintage and pre-owned goods. You are being ecofriendly and helping our environment by doing it! :)

THREE // WHY BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE

The thing about vintage (to me at least) is that it is SO UNIQUE! So many pieces were handcrafted and meticulously made back then, and I love seeing how they stand the test of time. I’m talking about bags, shoes, jewelry, and clothes. I LOVE vintage pieces, and they usually add a je ne sais quoi to any outfit! Wear a piece of vintage –> VIOLA! You look amazing + GLAM and you did good for the Earth! :)

You can check out all of my “From Grandma with Love” series to see what I mean! In those posts, I’m wearing vintage pieces from my husband’s grandmother. Some of them follow the current fashion trends. It’s so funny to see what goes around comes around!

Now that we just chatted about WHY I shop vintage and pre-owned, I’m sure you want a piece of the vintage action too! I don’t blame you! You can find some real gems for amazing prices if you know where to look. Here are some tips to help you during a search for a Holy Grail designer “fill in the blank”. I’m going to use a Chanel Reissue 2.55 Flap as an example!

RESEARCH

  • Find out how much your original cost of the piece. (Current price of a Chanel Reissue 2.55 medium flap is $5600.) Sometimes, pre-owned pieces are being listed for MORE than the current price especially Hermes Birkins!
  • What are the stores return and authenticity policy? You wouldn’t want to purchase a bag and then not love it but be stuck with something that cost so much. Now, many places have authenticity policies which guarantee they believe the item is real and have a good return policy.

AUTHENTICATE

  • If you are new to buying a designer bag, then I highly recommend using someone to authenticate your bag before purchasing. In the past, I’ve used The Purse Forum authentication (Here is the one for Chanel). One of my friends utilized the gals at the store To Be Continued in Dallas. You just want to make sure that you are getting the real deal when paying a large amount of money.
  • As mentioned previously, many websites and stores now have an authenticity policy which means they guarantee the piece is real.

EXPECTATIONS

Read descriptions in fine details – some mention odors, scratches, etc. Sometimes, you can get lucky and find a NWT (new with tags) piece, but otherwise, remember that you are purchasing something that has been worn and used.

To finish up the example, here is a Chanel metallic reissue that I found listed for $2300. I would also contact them to see if there are any additional interior photos to ensure you really know what you are purchasing.

Lastly, trust your instincts. If you are shopping and don’t have a good feeling about something, then pass. It’s better than potentially getting an unreturnable fake for a large sum of money. There will always be another bag, dress, or shoe.  I tell this to you because it’s happened to me in the past.

WHERE TO SHOP

Now you’re probably thinking… Thanks for all the tips Sam, but where do I shop?!!! Here are the few places that I have shopped and loved!

THE REAL REAL // I have purchased multiple pieces from The Real Real and have been happy with their pricing. A couple of my friends actually use their consignment services (for their own pieces) and love it. I’m thinking about doing it this year!

LUXURY GARAGE SALE // There is a brick and mortar store in Dallas which is fabulously curated but you can shop online from all of their inventory (which includes their Chicago store). I have been very happy with my items. I did have to return a pair of shoes because they didn’t fit, and they had great customer service.

EBAY // I wish that the Authenticated Ebay page for handbags was available way back when I purchased multiple bags from the site. That would have saved me so much stress. Anyhow, it’s pretty awesome, and it appears that you have a 30-day return policy.

CLOTHES CIRCUIT // This consignment shop is amazing because they carry high-end designer and everyday wear (think Gap, Ann Taylor, LOFT) so there is something for everyone! I did a post about them HERE!

I’ve seen some beautiful vintage pieces on these websites but haven’t personally purchased so I can’t vouch specifically for them.

Also, I have local boutiques listed on my “Shop Sustainable” page if you are interested! Hope this is helpful to you! As always let me know if you have any questions!

Do you have a favorite vintage piece or “Holy Grail” item purchased second hand? Let me know if you have any questions! I love to talk about vintage pieces and luxury bags! LOL!

P.S. The full outfit in the above picture is from THIS POST! The bag is a vintage Chanel Maxi bag that I purchased at The Real Real for my birthday this year!

GET MY LOOK

jacket RACHEL ZOE c/o | tee TARGET | jeans 3×1
necklaces LANA, VINTAGE {similar} | earrings NORDSTROM
boots MARC FISHER | sunglasses DIOR {look for less} | bag CHANEL {look for less}
lips RMS BEAUTY in Jezebel
Happy Wednesday Fashionable Friends. Mr. S finally comes home today after being gone for almost a week. Somehow, I still barely have my sanity! LOL! In all seriousness, the kids have been really good despite missing their Daddy so much. Plus, we had friends over this weekend as a great distraction. More friends are coming tonight! It’s been Chateau le Sam lately, and I’ve got some major cleaning to do! Plus, the Christmas decorations are still up! Is that a problem?! LOL! Wish me luck!

My SIL had her baby, and we still haven’t had a chance to meet our newest cousin! I’m dying to see him and so are the Littles, but I don’t want any germs over to the little guy!

♥︎ ♥︎ STAY GLAM, DO GOOD ♥︎ ♥︎

Thank you so much for stopping by and supporting SOS! I truly appreciate it!

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Rxoxo, Sam

Read the Comments +

  1. So true, I was a hand-me-down (sister), TJMaxx, Marshalls and clearance rack girl growing up. Once I had my own money I would “splurge” at American Eagle sometimes, haha. I saved up for years and bought my first Chanel second hand as well (But a bit more expensive than yours, haha)
    I love buying used and thrifted pieces, same great quality, lower price!
    Meg @ Closet Fashionista recently posted…{outfit} A Mix of TexturesMy Profile

    • Sam says:

      Yes Meg! You and I have been thrifters and vintage shoppers for awhile! I was so excited when you got your Chanel Jacket!! ????????????????????????

  2. Mica says:

    I always wore hand-me-downs as a kid, and my mum and grandma are great opshoppers, often buying pieces for me they think I’d like when they are thrifiting! :) I’d say about half my bag collection is pre-loved too, it’s definitely the best way to go as you get something more budget friendly! :)

    Plus it is much better shopping second hand as you support the earth and your local charity when you do it – this is such a good post covering all these points Sam!

    Hope that your week is going well and you have a nice weekend ahead of you :) Congrats to your SIL on her baby! Your little ones must be so excited to meet their cousin!

    http://awayfromtheblue.blogspot.com.au
    Mica recently posted…Printed Dresses, Gold Sandals and Chloe Paddington Bag: Summer StyleMy Profile

  3. Charlotte says:

    Candlemas (February 2) is the end of Christmas/Epiphany time. I put away the last of my decorations that day so you weren’t late taking yours down. But then it was time to break out my much smaller collection of Valentines Day decorations…lots of roses and lots of hearts.

    With all you do, I don’t know when you found the time to put decorations up!

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Hi, I'm Sam

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